Lack of Correlation of Plasma HDL With Fecal Cholesterol and Plasma Cholesterol Efflux Capacity Suggests Importance of HDL Functionality in Attenuation of Atherosclerosis

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Abstract

A number of clinical findings suggested HDL-raising as a plausible approach to treat residual risk of CVD. However, lack of CVD risk reduction by elevated HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) through cholesterol ester transfer protein (CETP) inhibition and enhanced risk reduction in apolipoprotein A-I Milano (apoAI-M) individuals with low HDL-C shifted the focus from HDL-C level to HDL function. In the present study, we investigated correlations between HDL-C, HDL function, fecal cholesterol excretion, and ex vivo plasma cholesterol efflux capacity (CEC) in animal models using two HDL modulators, LXR and PPAR-α agonists. In C57Bl mice, LXR agonist, T1317, raised HDL-C by 30%, while PPAR-α agonist, fenofibrate, reduced HDL-C by 30%, but fecal cholesterol showed twofold increase in both cases. CEC showed a 30–40% increase. Combination of LXR and PPAR-α agonists showed no changes in HDL-C, but, interestingly, fecal cholesterol increased by 4.5-fold, and CEC by 40%, suggesting existence of additional pathway for fecal cholesterol excretion. Regression analysis showed a lack of correlation between HDL-C and fecal cholesterol and CEC, while fecal cholesterol showed significant correlation with CEC, a measure of HDL function. ABCA1 and G1, the two important players in RCT showed greater induction with LXR agonist than PPAR-α agonist. HDL-C increased by 40 and 80% in LXR and PPAR-α treated apoA-I transgenic mice, respectively, with 80% increase in fecal cholesterol. A fivefold increase in fecal cholesterol with no correlation with either plasma HDL-C or CEC following co-treatment with LXR and PPAR-α agonists suggested existence of an HDL-independent pathway for body cholesterol elimination. In hyperlipidemic diabetic ob/ob mice also combination of LXR and PPAR-α agonists showed marked increases in fecal cholesterol content (10–20-fold), while HDL-C rise was only 40%, further suggesting HDL-independent elimination of body cholesterol in mice treated with combination of LXR and PPAR-α agonists. Atherosclerosis attenuation by LXR and PPAR-α agonists in LDLr-deficient mice was associated with increased fecal cholesterol, but not HDL-C. However, fecal cholesterol counts showed inverse correlation with aortic cholesteryl ester content. These data suggest: (a) lack of correlation between HDL-C and fecal or aortic cholesterol content; (b) HDL function (CEC) correlated with fecal cholesterol content; (c) association of reduced aortic lipids in LDLr−/− mice with increased fecal cholesterol, but not with HDL-C, and (d) existence of an HDL-independent pathway for fecal cholesterol excretion following co-treatment with LXR and PPAR-α agonists.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages0
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
Volume9
Publication statusPublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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